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Cheltenham Continues to Water After Dry Forecast


After another dry spate of weather this past week, Cheltenham have confirmed that they will continue watering in the build-up to the 2012 Cheltenham Festival. There's a lot to like about Cheltenham's annual showcase of steeplechasing but drier ground will not play to the strengths of many contenders and will force a fairly dramatic reshuffling of long-term handicapping should the ground continue to come up firm.


Watering began late last week and there has been approximately 6-8mm of water put down over the entirety of Cheltenham's surface.

Clerk of the course Simon Claisse reported that the ground was rated good, good to firm in places as of Sunday afternoon. He also went on to explain that between 12-15mm will be added over the following week in an effort to combat the drying weather.

The current goal is said to be keeping the ground at good, good to firm in places before things are expected to get a bit softer.

Speaking to the media, Claisse declared that they were “aiming to start the festival with good to soft ground.” The watering will be turned up over the last ten days prior to the festival if course officials deem it necessary.

Only a mere 4mm of rain fell on Cheltenham in February compared with a mammoth 40mm being recorded prior to last year's festival.  

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